Russell Croman Astrophotography  



Spiral Galaxy M66

About This Photograph

M66 is a very good example of the dynamics that gravitational interaction with other galaxies can produce. Nearby, at least in terms of galaxies, are two other island universes, forming a group popularly known as the Leo Triplet. The interaction disturbs the delicate structure of the galaxies, warping (and possibly even causing) the spiral arms, and triggers episodes of rapid and widespread star formation. We see this here as clusters of hot, young blue stars, and pinkish regions of energized hydrogen gas, clouds illuminated by still younger stars just being born.


Technical Details

Optics:20" f/8 RCOS Ritchey-Chrétien Cassegrain w/ RCOS Field Corrector
Mount:Software Bisque Paramount ME
Camera:SBIG STL-11000XM
Filters:SBIG Standard LRGB
Dates/Times:March 2009, May-June 2010
Location:Dimension Point Observatory, Mayhill, New Mexico
Exposure Details:CRGB = 600:150:60:90 minutes.
Acquisition:MaxIm DL/CCD 4, TheSky6, CCDAutoPilot3
Processing:CCDStack, MaxIm DL/CCD 4, Photoshop CS2